Theatertreffen in China, 2018

Tour Dates: 23th June - 15th July, 2018

Theatertreffen is the most important and the biggest theatre festival within German-speaking countries...

Co-promoted by Wu Promotion and Theatertreffen, organized by Tianjin Grand Theatre, Beijing Tianqiao Performing Arts Centre and Changzhou Grand Theatre, the 3rd "Theatertreffen in China" achieved a successful conclusion in July 2018, with the support of Goethe-Institut China and Volkswagen China.

After the success of der die mann and Tripping Stones State Theater in 2017, the jury selected one distinctive drama for the Chinese audiences: Five Easy Pieces, directed by Milo Lau. It is a play about the Belgian child murderer Marc Dutroux with children between the ages of 8 and 14.

© Phile Deprez

CAMPO Art Centre, 2018

Five Easy Pieces
Director:Milo Rau
Tour Dates:30 June - 15 July, 2018

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Outreach Activities

This award-winning drama has undoubtedly triggered a heated discussion and widespread concern among Chinese theatre actors and audiences. 56 mainstream cultural media have published more than 100 reports. The Chinese Twitter platform (Weibo) topic of the 3rd "Theatertreffen in China" has reached more than 380.000 people.

In addition to the wonderful repertoire performances, the 3rd "Theatertreffen in China" also included 15 different types of outreach activities for audiences, to give a more comprehensive presentation of the status quo, activity and diversity of the development of theatrical arts in the world, which have attracted over 2,000 people.

30th June, the 3rd "Theatertreffen in China"
Opening Ceremony & Theme Forum was held at Goethe-Institut China.
The forum was hosted by Dr. Clemens Treter, Director of the Goethe-Institut China.
Jeroen Versteele and Shirin Sojitrawalla from the jury for the Theatertreffen, attended.
They shared opinions about how Theatertreffen works and the features of the 2017 shortlisted works respectively.

Guided tours and after talks during Theatertreffen

Press Reviews 2018

"Although we can feel a lot of dramatic elements during the performance, essentially, Five Easy Pieces is still a documentary theatre work based on news reports, historical events and the personal experience of the young actors. Those unique texture and moments of the performance actually came partly from the existence of children, and more significantly, from Milo Lau's aesthetic pursuit. Children can naturally bring out the discussion on the origin issues of acting and how to arouse the audience's emotion between performance and non-performance. Based on this, the director vested the play with a complex structure, allowing the theatre not only to record history and reality, but also to give us the opportunity to discuss the drama art itself."

- Beijing Ribao

"Theatre professionals in Europe, especially in German-speaking regions, have been focusing on realistic themes about their own history. What kind of response and resonance can be generated if they are performed in China? Last year, Tripping Stones State Theater was selected by” THEATERTREFFEN in China”. Jeroen Versteele, dramaturge of Berliner Festpiele, realized that Chinese audiences had their own way to comprehend this period of history. Furthemore, audiences would think of how to deal with their own history on stage. Therefore, he kept the same expectations for Five Easy Pieces, which may show people how to overcome the pain, sad stories and important historical events of their own country."

- Beijing News

"Between broad political issues and the aesthetic issues of theatre, this group of children, with an average age of only 10, gave a remarkable answer: theatre can present insight, which is the progress from "blindness" to "sight". It’ s not a provocation or stunt to let children perform the topics resisted by adults, but the only importance is children themselves, they gradually have clear awareness of themselves in the process of acting. In the practice, they figured out more about performance, humanity, positive and negative sides of the world and stepped firmly towards freedom. As Peter Brook summed in his autobiography, Thread of Time, theatre is a therapy that helps people find their own position in the fragments of modern life."

- The Paper

"Das Berliner Theatertreffen, das wir jedes Jahr im Mai realisieren, präsentiert nicht nur wegweisende Theaterproduktionen aus dem In- und Ausland, sondern macht auch deutlich, wie wichtig eine freie, kreative, diverse, gut unterstützte und international organisierte Theaterszene für die ganze Gesellschaft ist. „Five Easy Pieces“ zeigt außerdem, wie außergewöhnliche Inszenierungen auch außerhalb der gut ausgestatteten und finanzierten deutschen Stadt- und Staattheater entstehen kann. Diese kluge und zugleich verstörende Inszenierung war ein Geschenk für die deutsche Theaterlandschaft, und ich freue mich sehr, dass sie nun auch in China zu sehen ist! Ich danke dem Initiator und Veranstalter des Theatertreffen in China."

- Managing Director of Berliner Festspiele: Dr. Thomas Oberender

"Every selected performance of Berlin THEATERTREFFEN should be relevant. Political, dramatic, certain attitude, to present contemporary life...... There are various opinions on it in our jury. As for me, I regard theatre as the carrier of beauty, such as poetic, aesthetic and artistic. It’s not that necessary for the performance to be related to politics. Five Easy Pieces is a nice example. It was based on a political news event, which is a very famous historical event in Belgium, but they were trying to discuss what can a drama do and drama’s expressive force rather than restore the story. It was the unique form and insight realized the infinite possibility of theatre."

- Jury of Berliner Festspiele / Theater Critic / Media practitioner: Shirin Sojitrawalla

"I hope our audiences could see the prospect and tendency of the drama’s development through THEATERTRAFFEN in China, especially in the German language area. Five Easy Pieces comes to be the most intelligent play to me. It is full of creation and can be a persuasive theatre experience for audiences. Five Easy Pieces is very touching for those who participate in the dramatic creation, especially when children reflect this event through their own performance and express their inner world factually. In addition, Five Easy Pieces can not only reproduce the cruelty of facts through children's performances, but also can reflect the rebellious spirit of children by allowing them to show their struggle and courage. Therefore, I like this play very much."

- Dramaturge of Berliner Festspiele: Jeroen Versteele

"In fact, Five Easy Pieces gives us a good enlightenment: in both news reports and drama plays, the truly social responsibility should not always be presented by analyzing the social and family background of murderers' crimes. This is actually an excuse for the murderers, a secondary damage on the victims under the banner of "social criticism" . It is better to step down and give real comfort and healing to those who have suffered from the trauma than to just give advice to social problems."

- Lecturer of The Central Academy of Drama /
Syndic of The International Association of Theatre Critics China Centre: Zhu Ning

Jury of Theatertreffen in China 2018

Dr. Thomas Oberender
Managing Director of
Berliner Festspiele

Mr. Chen Ping
Former Counselor for Culture Affairs
of China Embassy
in Germany

Dr. Clemens Treter

President of Das Deutsche
Kulturzentrum Peking –
Goethe-Institut (China)

Yvonne Büderhölzer
Director Theatertreffen

Meng Jinghui

Theater director